What will be more effective at spreading peace, dialogue or debate? This was the topic of the most recent gathering of WFWP Philadelphia, PA on March 24, 2018, which included six civic leaders who strongly expressed their desire to take initiative to create peace in the community. This was part of a monthly women’s circle which is held at the University of Pennsylvania, famous for its innovative medical research.

Book writer and activist Nicole Chennault shared her ideas on what women can do to take control of the heart of the city. This was inspiring for WFWP Philadelphia chapter’s members because they are passionate about contributing to change in the community. Britnney, a cum laude graduate student, said understanding and hearing the side of each person can be a great foundation for peaceful relationships.

The discussion covered many hot topics in current events, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the statements made in response, such as all lives matter. Everyone is concerned for their own rights for having a dignified status. In this time of political unrest, there are mass rallies every day right in front of the government building of Philadelphia. Who’s to say what side is right or what argument is correct? Ironically, in the midst of a city with churches everywhere, gun violence and the crime rate are increasing. Where is peace? Where are the apologetics of each religious group? How are they going to defend themselves from the blame of society?

This was the frontline of our discussion. As mothers and women of peace, what else can we do to spread faith and to decrease the number of horrific incidents in society? We concluded that we need to give more, open our hearts more, take action, and most of all, to listen more and talk less.

We agreed on a dialogue of peace as our next planned project, to discuss solutions to issues in our complicated and furious world. Dialogue can be one great source of collaboration for peace. We agreed that as agents of change, it is better to listen to others’ perspective without judgement than to always try to prove ourselves right.

Jizly Dohou